Educational Webinars Start October 14 – Sign up Now!
We are conducting four webinars each Wednesday starting October 14 from 11 am to noon. Board member Ralph Monti is coordinating the webinars which are funded by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.
Topics and presenters are:
Landscaping for Wildlife
Presented by Tom Heitzman, owner of Sweet Bay Nursery (Master Gardeners receive CEU credits for attending)
Smart Cycling 101: Tips on Being Safe on Your Bicycle
Presented by Ralph Monti, certified cycle safety instructor and Kathy Duff, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office
Plein Air Painter Art Exhibition/Critique
Presented by Augusto Argandona, SRQ Plein Air Painters
Birds of Three Sarasota Habitats
Presented by Jeanne Dubi, President of Sarasota Audubon
The webinars are free but you must register to attend.
Organization Change – New Volunteer Opportunities
Friends of Osprey Junction Trailhead is now governed by a volunteer Board of Directors with Standing Committees. New volunteer opportunities are available in public relations activities, fundraising activities, volunteer program coordination and financial management. If you have interest in any of these areas please consider giving your time and talent to help us achieve our goals. Plus join an active, fun team!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Park News from Sam Wright
Osprey Junction Trailhead has recently reached a botanical milestone
Our little ten-acre park is apparently very diverse with plant life. Historically, the site contained two main habitats: Pine Flatwoods and Hydric Hammock. These two types of habitats differ from each other in relation to soil type and elevation. The varying differences in environmental conditions within the park provide habitat for a wide diversity of plants. The site was also once a tree nursery and still contains very interesting trees such as Macadamia and Cinnamon. We have been informally documenting all plant species that occur on site, a list which continually grows. As of last week, we positively identified the 150th plant species in the park! Although there are non-native invasive plants in the park that we are in the process of removing, most of the documented plants are native species. Some of the plants we have observed are rare and unique. A few months ago, we documented our first State Endangered plant on site, Lythrum flagellare (Florida Loosestrife). Loosestrife is a Florida endemic that is found nowhere else in the world but Florida. Coreopsis floridana (Florida Tickseed) which is also a Florida endemic has also been observed on site. As we continue to restore habitat and as I improve my grass identification skills, we expect to reach 200 plants species very soon.
Biking Tips from Ralph Monti
What Do These Road Markings Mean?
These road markings that you see popping up around Sarasota and Manatee counties (and others) are called a Shared Lane marking. In the traffic engineering world, they are known as Sharrows.
Sharrows are used to communicate to motorists that they should expect to see and share the road with bicyclists. They are a reminder to motorists to slow down and pass only when it is safe when using the opposite lane. They do not designate any part of the road as restricted to motorists or bicyclists. For bicyclists, they are an advisory marking that they can use the full lane.
Sharrows are strategically placed, so that if a bicyclist were to ride on top of them, they would be in an ideal position on the roadway to avoid such hazards as car doors opening, turning vehicles, road edge debris, etc. They are usually placed on narrow-width roadways with a speed limit less than and up to 35 mph. There is no law stating that bicyclists must ride on top of the sharrow, so bicyclists have the option to place themselves in a position on the road where they feel most comfortable.
For a complete description on Sharrows, check out this reference video by clicking HERE.
Visual Arts Education from Pamela Callender
More Than A Painting
Art is a word given to the oldest forms of communication, mimicry and illustration. Over time the interpretation of this word has been stretched beyond the boundaries of a frame. The definition of art and artist is complex and accompanied by more specific terms like Socially Engaged Art, Commercial Art, Public Art, Performance Art, or Eco Art including a variety of art-making processes such as literature, acting, dance, music, culinary art, architecture, and landscaping.
Legendary artist Joseph Beuys from the 1960’s refers to his teaching as his masterpiece. Beuys suggests any product made from the sculpting process of human imagination is an inadequate rendition. This struggle for true expression is the real suffering experience an artist endures and the explanation for subjective viewing.
Engraved Brick Fundraising Program
Leave a legacy on a brick patio at the Osprey Junction Trailhead Visitor Center. Your tax-deductible donation for an engraved brick is a great way to celebrate a special occasion, honor a loved one, recognize a club or advertise a business. It is also a unique gift for someone special. A brick patio will be installed later this year and engraved bricks are available now. The special pre-patio installation price is $150. Engraved symbols are also available for purchase. Your donation will help support our program, projects and events. Program administrator is Board member Veronica Battles.
Butterflies from Beverly Bowen
The Gulf fritillary is simply gorgeous – the underside is actually metallic-looking in the sun.
The larval plants are various species of passion-vine including maypops (Passiflora incarnata) and corky-stemmed passionflower (P. suberosa). We find that passion vines planted in the sun attract Gulf fritillaries – the same plant planted in shade attracts the Zebra heliconia.
The mature larva is bright orange with conspicuous black spines. It may look scary, but it cannot sting. The reason they are called brush-footed butterflies is because their first pair of legs are modified into brushes. The female butterfly uses these brushes to scrape plant leaves and taste plant chemicals. When she identifies the host plants for her caterpillars, she begins laying her yellow eggs singly on these plants.
The Gulf fritillary is one of several migratory species in the Southeast. As fall approaches, adults begin a mass southward migration eventually arriving in our usually warm South Florida to overwinter. These photos represent a female laying eggs, a very young caterpillar, a caterpillar shedding its skin for the last time to form the chrysalis, and an adult.
Birds from Holly Vincent
Tri-colored Heron (Egretta tricolor) Also known as Louisiana Heron
The distinguishing characteristics of this heron are the white under parts and the spotted white stripe down the front of the long slender neck. The upper body is a dark slate blue. The bill is long and slender with a dark tip and yellowish underside. Tri-colored Herons feed on mudflats, in marshes and swamps of fresh and saltwater. Males and females are similar in appearance. They both build the nest and feed the young in colonies often with other species.
Weekly Volunteer Opportunities at OJT Park
County Parks staff continue to offer volunteer work opportunities on the OJT park grounds every Wednesday morning from 8:30 am to 11:30 am for up to five volunteers. CLICK HERE for Volunteer Work Guidelines and contact information.